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How to Keep Your Horizontal Surfaces From Becoming Pile Holders

Posted Apr 23 2013 7:00am

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Does your table gather piles, stacks and overflowing lumps of stuff? This can be the cause of increased stress and loss of time and productivity in any home.

Whether your tables are in the basement, the kitchen, dining room or loft, it is not a storage device! Kitchen counters and islands are certainly in the group too.

The dining room table should not be a dumping ground for piles of paperwork,  craft materials, bicycle parts, unfinished projects, fishing gear and school projects that don’t have deadlines.

A cluttered table can’t do what it’s meant to do, like have a nice meal several times a day, read the paper, do lessons, etc.  when it’s a mess.

WHAT TO DO?

  1. Stop
  2. Decide
  3. Sort
  4. Return

STOP walking by the table and ignoring it! STOP for 10 – 90 minutes at a time and DECIDE what each pile is about.

SORT each chunk you pick up into a box to reroute to and RETURN to where it really belongs. See more on sorting in my post here. 

With everything you touch and pick up to decide what to do with, always think, “Where does this LIVE?” And, “Where is its HOME?” Take it there and teach everyone in the house what the plan is for them to help keep “it” living, or returning to live, in its home when done with “it.”

Example:

  • Newspapers, magazines and catalogs need a TO READ basket near where they’ll be read.
  • Outdated newspapers, magazines and catalogs to recycle bins.
  • Papers and mail need to be filed or taken action upon.
  • Clothes need to go to laundry, repair, appropriate rooms and put away.
Learn to value emptiness rather than seeing it as a vacancy and open space to just dump on and walk away.

Resource:

I have lots of great ideas for decluttering your home and office in my ebook, Burn Your House Down !

book cover - BYHD

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